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Moment of the year: Gesmundo scores late-game HR for the championship

For the Lasallian community, another championship in the books is a great addition for glory. But for Kiko Gesmundo, it means he ends his career on a high note. He was injured during the time the DLSU Green Batters made their championship runs, but at the end of the day, the Lasallian stepped up to the plate. The LaSallian awards the Moment of the Year to Gesmundo who made the final play to propel the Green Batters back to championship glory.

Prelude to glory

Before the season even started, the Green Batters were determined to avenge their loss to the AdU Soaring Falcons in the previous year’s finals. With a lineup comprised of seasoned veterans and polished rookies, the team took the season by storm, finishing the elimination rounds at the top of the table. However, the ADMU Blue Eagles also showed great promise throughout the season, and was the hurdle the Green-and-White had to overcome before attaining the glory they sought.

The finals series was nothing short of electrifying, with both teams able to notch a win to force a deciding game three. In the final game, DLSU seemed to be in control for most of the match, as they had an early lead that was being chased by the Katipunan-based squad. In the eighth inning, however, the Blue Eagles were able to go within striking distance, as an offensive surge allowed them to level out the ballgame. Being the home team in the match format, ADMU was at an advantage, having the opportunity for a walkoff win. At that point, the bats had to come alive for the Green-and-White.

Working to deliver  

The ninth inning started on a sour note for the Lasallians, as the second and third batters were retired via flyouts, with a runner on first. Hope seemed lost, with the momentum on the Atenean side from the previous inning. With the La Salle crowd silently hoping for a miracle, Gesmundo stepped up for his last at bat donning the colors of his alma mater. Showing his discipline at the plate in a time when his team needed a run, Gesmundo worked a 2-1 count. Ateneo pitcher Paolo Macasaet then delivered the 2-1 pitch, a fastball at the middle of the zone, which was crushed by a big swing from Gesmundo. The La Salle crowd was on its feet; everybody watched the ball sail over the outfield wall. Momentum suddenly shifted to the Taft-based squad, leaving the Ateneans in disbelief. The Green Batters carried on to close the game, striking out the Blue Eagles’ first batter, and then retiring the next two with a perfectly executed 1-4-3 double play.

The ninth inning of that match is one that will live in the memory of the La Salle faithful who were there to witness it.

Rob Matibag

By Rob Matibag

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